Ai-Cham language

Ai-Cham (autonym: ʔai˧tʲam˩; Chinese: 锦话) is a Kam–Sui language spoken mainly in Diwo 地莪 and Boyao 播尧 Townships, Jialiang District, Libo County, Qiannan Prefecture, Guizhou, China. Alternative names for the language are Jiamuhua, Jinhua and Atsam. Fang-Kuei Li first distinguished the language in 1943. Nearby languages include Bouyei and Mak. However, Yang (2000) considers Ai-Cham and Mak to be different dialects of an identical language.[2]

Native toChina
RegionQiannan Prefecture, Guizhou Province
Native speakers
2,700 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3aih

Ai-Cham has six tones. Regarded of speaker's nationality, they are being subsumed under "Bouyei" nationality (same with speakers of Mak language).

The mythical patriarch and hero of the Ai-Cham people is the demigod Wu Sangui, who is celebrated during the Ai-Cham New Year.[3]


  1. ^ Ai-Cham at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ 杨通银 / Yang Tongyin. 莫语研究 / Mo yu yan jiu (A Study of Mak). Beijing: 中央民族大学出版社 / Zhong yang min zu da xue chu ban she, 2000.
  3. ^ Lin, Shi and Cui Jianxin. 1988. "An investigation of the Ai-Cham language." In Jerold A. Edmondson and David B. Solnit (eds.), Comparative Kadai: Linguistic studies beyond Tai, 59-85. Summer Institute of Linguistics Publications in Linguistics, 86. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Edmondson, J. A., & Solnit, D. B. (1988). Comparative Kadai: linguistic studies beyond Tai. Summer Institute of Linguistics publications in linguistics, no. 86. [Arlington, Tex.]: Summer Institute of Linguistics. ISBN 0-88312-066-6.